Macro Mania: IIFYM explained
IIFYM; a small acronym that has made, and continues to make a huge impact in the fitness community. IIFYM, or, If It Fits Your Macros is a form of flexible dieting backed by scientific calculations and results. Many of us have seen this term dominating social media, many of us have also downloaded a macro counting app in the hopes to reach our fitness goals, however many of also don't really understand macros or how they work and are curious to learn more ... so let's do it! This blog will be an easy read informing you how and why macros yield such great results without making dieting a chore.
What Are Macronutrients?
Simply put, macronutrients are made up of three different nutrients; carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. All three of these are extremely important for us, serve different functions in our bodies, and deliver a different caloric amount when consumed. When we combine these with various micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), we are able to reach our physical prime.
In this weight loss program, your daily caloric input, and output are determined, if you hope to loose weight you will manipulate your macros to create a caloric deficit, if you hope to gain mass you will create a caloric surplus, and of course if you want to maintain you will create a plan in which your input and output are equal.
Science in Calculations
Your Macros are determined using a series of equations. Your age, weight, gender, height, and approximate amount of daily exercise play a crucial role in determining your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure), which is basically the amount of calories you burn in a day. In order to find the TDEE you calculate the REE (Resting Energy Expenditure) which is the amount of energy it takes strictly to keep you alive. If you eat less than your TDEE per day you loose weight, if you eat more we gain weight. This is why everyones macros differ, for example those of us who are more active will need more carbohydrates since our bodies utilize them to make glucose which is the bodies primary form of energy.
Things to consider
One thing that often draws people to IIFYM style eating is all the attention it is given through social media. We often see pictures on Instagram and various other social platforms of extremely fit individuals posting huge portions of ice cream, donuts, or pizza with the good old hashtag: IIFYM. I would like to remind everyone that this may look intriguing, but we all know, THIS IS NOT HEALTHY! Not all macros are created equal! In theory, with this eating regimen you can eat whatever you want and still loose weight as long as it remains within your macros. However, there is still good fat and bad fat, there is still useful sugar and useless sugar, there is still healthy calories and unhealthy calories. In theory, you CAN eat unhealthy and still reap the benefits physique wise, however this does not mean that you ARE healthy internally. Some foods may have the same macronutrient values, yet have entirely different nutritional values. If you choose to fill your macros with unhealthy foods you will soon realize that these foods are much less filling, and leave you feeling lethargic unlike their healthy counterparts which are filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
That being said, Macro counting is a fantastic form of dieting, with proven results if followed properly. I especially love this method for those new to a nutrition program, because there is still room for variety in your meals and no intense lifestyle changes. * If you are interested in trying out a IIFYM style diet and having meal plans created and catered to you, please look at my nutrition package options. I would love to help you get started.